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Steven W Thrasher – Income inequality happens by design. We can’t fix it by tweaking capitalism

The poorest Americans have no realistic hope of achieving anything that approaches income equality. They still struggle for access to the basics he economic hoarding by those at the top has been termed “income inequality”, but that’s neither a strong nor accurate enough phrasing. I have never heard poor people complain about “income inequality”; poor people complain about being screwed …

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Trends This Week – Economic hard trend lines & an invigorating trends retreat – 12.02.15

Gerald Celente forecasts: When the final numbers are tabulated, overall holiday sales will trend lower for 2015 and the overall retail sector will grow weaker in 2016. Indeed, beyond the holiday season, from luxury brands, to mid-range and low-end product sales, there is a slow and steady slump across all retail sectors throughout most of the developed and emerging markets. In the United States, for example, where consumer spending accounts for some 70 percent of the nation’s GDP, the downbeat reports from retailers throughout the year are clear trends of tepid growth followed by steady decline. With the labor force participation rate at 38-year lows, median household income below 1999 levels, medical costs are rising along with property and school taxes far faster than wages. And with some 51 percent of working Americans earning under $30,000 a year, there will be less discretionary income for non-essential retail products. Celente also breaks down the reasons why the price of gold is tanking and what the future holds for it. Elsewhere in the show he’s joined by a special guest to provide details and testimonials on the upcoming “Prepare for 2016” trends and well being retreat in Naples, Florida, January 10-16.

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Yves Smith – “Stunning” Rise in Death Rate, Pain Levels for White Middle-Aged, Less Educated Whites

One of the long standing patterns in economies showing economic growth is longer life spans, and falls are see the result of severe distress and dislocation, as took place in the period right after the fall of the Soviet Union, when the expectancies of adult men fell by over seven years. The US has just become the first country to …

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Stephanie McMillan & Vincent Kelley – Why NGOs and Leftish Nonprofits Suck (4 Reasons)

About 20 years ago, in a conversation with a Bangladeshi organizer, the topic of non-government organizations (NGOs), or non-profits as they’re often called, came up. He said bluntly: “I hate NGOs.” His vehemence was surprising. NGOs are far from revolutionary organizations, but their work still seemed more helpful than not. Political differences with them aside, it seemed dogmatic to denounce free …

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Lawrence Davidson – On the Age-Old Tradition of Not Caring

Part I — Deep PovertyIn the assessment of poverty in the United States there is a category known as “deep poverty.” The definition of deep poverty, as given in a recent article on this subject in the Philadelphia Inquirer of 30 September 2015, goes as follows: “deep poverty is measured as income of 50% or less of the poverty rate.” …

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Deirdre Fulton – As Europe’s One Percent Flourishes, Millions Sink into Poverty

On a continent that is home to some of the world’s richest people, most profitable businesses, and most valuable assets—including 342 billionaires—more than 120 million people are at risk of poverty, exemplifying the “unacceptable” levels of inequality sweeping Europe in 2015. That’s according to Oxfam, whose new report, A Europe for the Few, Not the Many (pdf), warns that the excessive …

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Zaid Jilani – The Number of Americans Living on Less Than $2 a Day Is Skyrocketing

The World Bank and other global institutions use a very specific measure to record global poverty rates. They gather data designed to record the number of people in a country who live on less than $2 a day, and then use the information to make a “poverty headcount ratio”— the percentage of people in a country who live under this …

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William Edstrom – Wall Street and the Military are Draining Americans High and Dry

The United States (US) government often cites $18 trillion as the amount of money that they owe, but their actual debts are higher. Much higher. The government in the USA owes $13.2 trillion in US Treasury Bonds, $5 trillion in money borrowed by the US Federal government from Federal government trust funds like the Social Security trust fund, $0.7 trillion …

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Michael Krieger – The Oligarch Recovery – Low Income Americans Can’t Afford to Live in Any Metro Area

We were told we needed to bail out Wall Street in order to save Main Street. Well the results are in… Wall Street has never done better, and Main Street has never done worse. From the Huffington Post: Low-income workers and their families do not earn enough to live in even the least expensive metropolitan American communities, according to a new analysis …